Buyers: Always study the homeowners association package. I’m not sure you’d be able to discern embezzlement, but at least you’d have done your due diligence.
It seems Hollymead is joining the Glenmore (2010) and Mill Creek (2010) homeowners’ associations in the “we’ve had money stolen from us” camp.
J. Reynolds Hutchins reports for Media General:
Albemarle County Police are investigating the misappropriation of more than $73,000 from a local homeowners association in northern Albemarle.
The Hollymead Citizens Association Board of Directors informed residents last month that a slew of unauthorized charges had been made to the association’s bank account.
According to a June audit, Charlottesville accounting firm Wills & Associates identified $73,183.48 in unauthorized transactions between 2008 and 2012 gleaned from monthly bank statements, copies of canceled checks, online records and Internal Revenue Service payroll notices.
Update 14 August: Their former treasurer has been charged.Frankly, this type of thing is the reason that 1) I’m on my HOA board and 2) I wish I wasn’t on my HOA board. 🙂
Condominiums have their benefits – but Home Owner Associations are not one of them in my opinion. I always advise investors/buyers to check the property taxes to make sure that they are paid and up to date. You can also check to see if there is an outstanding mortgage and if it is in default. I know it sounds horrible but it happens more often that we would like. All this, including talking to other owners about their satisfaction levels, is part of the due diligence process.
Thanks, Jim. Your advice is well placed. Hollymead might be the poster child of why buyers should very carefully read their bylaws. I am discovering that Hollymead’s was created in 1978 (!) and has only been amended once in 2005 to enforce “decorum” during meetings.
On the bright side, the citizens of Hollymead are organizing and taking steps to update the bylaws and hold the sitting leadership accountable for this theft. That discussion can be viewed here: http://hollymead.wordpress.com/
Thanks again for the post and the support!
Thanks. Very interesting stuff. I’ve read some bizarre stuff in HOA bylaws over the years. HOAs really do need professional management, IMHO so that (hopefully) things like this are minimized …
At least you found out before it got worse.